Mental and emotional disorders can often lead to unhealthy behaviors. Addressing the emotions and triggers that lead to detrimental actions is important. However, individuals can also change their thought patterns by transforming their behavior. Behavioral therapy is a broad term for various mental health treatment approaches that focus on identifying and changing behaviors.
Behavioral Therapy Basics
In a sense, behavioral therapy is more about finding a solution to a problem than focusing on a diagnosis. It doesn’t matter what your background is. Some of your behavior is based on past experiences. Behaviorists believe that if you can learn a behavior, then you can unlearn it.
Conditioned learning drives this type of therapy. For instance, think back to Pavlov’s experiment with dogs. In the experiment, Pavlov used food to make the dogs salivate. When he rang a bell as he exposed the dogs to food, they would also salivate. Eventually, he was able to get the dogs to drool when he rang the bell without the presence of food.
The bell was a neutral stimulus, but it caused the dogs to salivate when paired with food. Similar conditioning can happen in humans. Let’s say that you experienced a traumatic experience while you were in the car. Because of this, you might get anxious every time you grab the keys.
You’re a human being, not a mental disorder. You can learn how to react to stimuli in your environment in healthy, productive ways. As part of well-rounded mental health services, behavioral therapy allows us to treat you, not just your condition.
We offer multiple levels of care, including:
- Residential Rehabilitation Services
- Co-Occurring Rehabilitation Services
- Transitional Living Services
- Community Support Services
- Extended Residential Services
Aversion therapy is like getting Pavlov’s dogs to feel nauseated when they hear the bell ringing. When administered properly, this type of treatment may help to curb compulsive behaviors. At Rose Hill Center, we believe that only self-administered consequences should be used in this type of therapy. We don’t believe in causing someone more pain when they’re already dealing with a stressful situation.
This therapy involves pairing an undesirable activity with an unpleasant stimulus. For example, people trying to quit smoking might snap a rubber band on their wrist every time they think about lighting up. A therapist may also teach someone to use visualization to envision adverse consequences while they concentrate on the behavior that they want to stop.
Although many people associate play therapy with children, it can be effective for treating adults who struggle with mental illness or substance abuse. As we age, we often lose the ability to let loose and play. While adult play may involve different activities than childhood play, it serves the same function. Humans explore their world through play. This type of therapy allows people to practice social and cognitive behaviors in a safe environment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, looks at how your ways of thinking can affect your actions and mood. It helps many residents connect the dots between their beliefs, emotions, and behavior patterns. CBT uses tools to help people identify and assess their feelings and thoughts.
For example, some people with anxiety feel like others are always looking at them, especially when they aren’t doing something well. They may react by refusing to leave the house or taking drugs. By becoming more aware of their thought process, they can learn to react differently to these situations.
CBT involves doing homework outside of therapy sessions. Our professionals may ask residents to complete a journal, practice guided meditation and mindfulness, or do exercises to challenge their existing beliefs.
Behavior therapy is compatible with many other forms of mental health treatment. It helps individuals play an active role in their recovery and learn realistic steps to manage substance abuse or mental illness.
If you feel like your mental health is negatively impacting your life, you can go to a quality rehabilitation center that focuses on helping you be your best self. Contact Rose Hill Center at 866-367-0220 to learn how you can take control over your illness.